Lions Club Therapy Dogs Visit Southern Ocean Medical Center

Stafford Club Active in Vision Programs, Charitable Support
Apr 11, 2018
Supplied Photo

Bailey and Brittany are visitors to Southern Ocean Medical Center every month. These two friendly faces with wagging tails visit the hospital to provide a welcome change to the patients’ daily, long-term care.

The dogs have been working four years as therapy dogs through the Stafford Township Lions Club.

“It is amazing how two dogs can invoke such joy amongst the patients,” said Roz Armentano of the Lions Club. Armentano, the dogs’ owner, also volunteers at the hospital. “It is rewarding.”

Both therapy dogs participate in all the activities, from Pageant Dog Parade to the various festivities organized by the hospital throughout the year.

Bailey is a Cavalier King Charles spaniel, who sports a blue vest, and Brittany is a cavachon, adorable in her red vest.

The dogs were trained through the Alliance of Therapy Dogs program. Bailey had been adopted from the Southern Ocean County Animal Shelter.

“He is the sweetest dog,” said Armentano, who was very proud when he completed the therapy dog training. “Bailey had separation anxiety, and Brittany was added to the family. She followed in his footsteps quickly.”

Whenever hospital staff see their owner, they ask when the dogs are coming back to visit.

The Eyes Have It:

Lions Glasses Collection

The Stafford Township Lions Club has been active in several other notable endeavors recently.

When the club welcomed Kara Schnure, first vice district governor of New Jersey Lions 16-L at its most recent monthly meeting, Schnure expressed admiration for the Stafford Lions’ extensive contributions to local and surrounding communities.

She commended the extent of the club’s vision screening program, which has flourished and is successful because of club members’ dedication.

A related project is the ongoing eyeglass collection. Stafford Township Lions have collected more than 2,000 eyeglasses, which go to individuals who need them.

The following are locations of collections boxes in the area.

Manahawkin: All Saints Regional Catholic School; Atlantic Hills Association; Ocean Community Church; Erickson, Dreizen & Lee Optical; Stafford Branch of Ocean County Library; Lutheran Church of the Holy Sprit; Horizon Eye Care; Manahawkin Elks Lodge; Beach Haven Moose Lodge (Manahawkin); Brookdale Stafford;  BJ’s; Interfaith Health and Support Services; McKinley School; Shinn Funeral Home.

Long Beach Island: Snyder Eye Group, Bageleddi’s and Grace Cavalry Church in Ship Bottom; Kynett Methodist Church in Beach Haven; Beach Haven Library;  St. Francis Parish in Brant Beach.

Little Egg Harbor: Ellis Family Eye Care; Mystic Shores Adult Community; Saint Teresa Church; Good Shepherd Lutheran Church.

Tuckerton: Ellis Family Eye Center; Laurel Auxiliary Thrift Shop; Snyder Eye Group; Seacrest Village.

West Creek: Habitat for Humanity.

Barnegat: Barnegat branch of the Ocean County Library.

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Also, Stafford Township Lions Club members Susan Mueller, Ken Welsh, Jimmy Leta, Bob Skrable and MaryLou DeMaria-Berhang traveled to Hamilton, N.J. and volunteered at a World Down Syndrome Day event and donated gift baskets from the Stafford Lions Club.

The Down Syndrome Association of Central New Jersey held “Rock Your Socks Off” at the Stone Terrace at John Henry’s in Hamilton. The organization’s fourth annual premier fundraiser had a silent action/raffle, dancing by NJ 101.5 radio station, face painting, photo booth and more, with a buffet lunch and refreshments.

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A club fundraiser at Calloways Restaurant from 7 to 10 p.m. on April 27 will raise money for Ocean of Love, which provides financial and emotional support for families of children with cancer. See details in the Events Calendar section of this issue of The SandPaper.

— Maria Scandale

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